To sum up this day in one word: wow. Jasmine and Alejandro’s elopement day was so special and wonderful; I was so sad when it was over! These two had a big East Coast wedding planned for September 2020, but COVID forced them to make new plans. They opted to postpone their reception to 2021, and plan a backyard elopement in October on their anniversary in wine country! Not to mention they had a close call with the wildfires that were happening in Sonoma County in August and September. It almost looked like they’d have to reschedule again, but it all worked out according to Plan B! And honestly, it was perfect.
They began the afternoon with a brief ceremony, streamed live to their friends and family over Zoom. Jasmine said she specifically chose their Airbnb for the big lawn area as well as the pergola — she immediately knew that was the perfect spot for their ceremony! After they exchanged vows (which they impressively recited without notes!) and rings, we headed out to the portrait locations I’d picked out. Since they live in the LA area, they weren’t very familiar with Sonoma and asked for my help in finding a beautiful spot.
Even though they’d inquired with me a mere three weeks before their elopement (most couples inquire 4-12 months in advance), I hustled and was able to offer them a couple different options! They had asked for beautiful background views and vineyard vibes, and Gundlach Bundschu Winery was the jackpot! We meandered through their property to take photos in a couple different settings; on the way out, the sun was just about to set and I realized it would be a perfect setting for a final couple of images. I pictured an image of them running away from me into the sunset, and I’m so pleased that it came out the exact way I saw it in my head (scroll to see it!).
When we returned from their portraits, they popped some champagne, took a couple group photos, and sat down for their wedding dinner. They hired a local private chef to serve them and their two friends (who served as the officiant and witness) an incredible feast! They relaxed and wined and dined the night away as the perfect close to their elopement, and even the moon came out to greet them. What a day! After I said goodbye and was walking back to my car, I couldn’t help but feel envious of Jasmine and Alejandro — they had a perfect day, and finishing it off with a laid back, privately-catered dinner was the ultimate cherry on top. Major inspo for sure!!
If you’re currently grappling with making a Plan B or even Plan C because of covid, I hope this backyard elopement in wine country helped give you some inspiration for your day! And just know, it will all turn out just fine. And if you’re looking for the perfect elopement Airbnb, might I suggest one of these gorgeous homes in the Russian River area? 😉